31 May to 04 June 2016
The Vision Mission team was in Sri Lanka, working in collaboration with the Vision2020, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka to help bring eye care to the poorest sections of Sri Lanka. As a part of our surgical mission trip TVM sent a team of surgeons to Vavuniya town in the northern province of Sri Lanka to perform cataract surgeries. Sri Lanka has an acute shortage of Ophthalmologists and TVM was approached to help in performing cataract surgeries among the poor patients who cannot afford to pay for the surgeries.
The Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka along with financial assistance from Assist Resettlement & Renaissance, UK organised a cataract surgery camp in Vavuniya District Hospital. The main protagonists who laid the groundwork there were Dr. Asela Abeydeera (of MOH-SL) and Dr. Velautham Sarveswaran (of Assist-UK). The team of four sent by TVM consisted of 3 surgeons- Dr. Shivaprasad Sahoo, Dr. Rupesh Agrawal, Dr. Raghuraj Hegde and a surgical assistant- Mr. Srutiranjan Sahoo. Dr. Shivaprasad Sahoo is the founder director and Consultant of Trilochan Nethralaya, Sambalpur- A non-profit hospital in Western Odhisha, India with a long association with TVM. Dr. Rupesh Agrawal is a Consultant Ophthalmologist in Tan Tock Sen Hospital, Singapore. Dr. Raghuraj Hegde is a practicing Ophthalmologist in Bangalore, India. All three surgeons have vast experience in high volume cataract surgery camps in India. The surgeons took additional assistance from a team of trained nurses from Colombo and local surgical staff in Vavuniya District Hospital.
We are happy to inform that 490 cataract surgeries were successfully performed within a duration of 5 days by the able team sent by TVM for the mission trip. This was the largest cataract surgery camp organized in Sri Lanka till date and the number of surgeries accomplished was unprecedented. After surgery, hundreds of patients regained their long lost vision. Our local partners were pleased with the work done by our team in Sri Lanka. The success of this camp can be attributed to the single minded determination and teamwork of all the people involved in planning, organizing and implementation of this project. We at TVM believe this successful trip is only the beginning of a long association with our local partners in Sri Lanka. We plan to work with them to realize capacity building in Northern Sri Lanka and help sustain long term eye care services there. We are extremely excited about our future work in Sri Lanka.